Thursday, April 30, 2009

Relationships

Our lives are full of relationships with each person we meet and interact whether it is our parents, children, partner or someone we meet in the grocery store.

Some relationships can be very difficult, but they can be our greatest teachers. The greatest gift we can ever receive is the lessons that we learn from being in relationship.

Usually at the beginning of any relationship, there is a "honeymoon" period. You know the period - when you are totally "in love" or "in like" with someone. This does not just mean a romantic partner either. This can be anyone - a friend, relative, employer, employee, co-worker.

So during this honeymoon period, we are feeling the love flowing and we feel great. And we think that the love is coming from the other person. But what we are feeling is the connection to the love within us. The love doesn’t come from another person, it never has. It is a reflection of the love that we see and feel with someone else.

As the relationship develops, that same love can start to bring up all our yucky stuff, our pain, and issues from the past. And the biggest issue of all is our feelings of unworthiness. We are feeling so much love that it hits against our belief that we are not worthy and that is what causes our issues to arise.

When this happens, we don't want to look at the yucky stuff that makes us feel bad so we start to blame the other person for our unhappiness. "If he would be nicer to me, I would be happier." "If she would only let me do my own thing, I would be happier." "If he made more money…", well, you know the pattern.

But the thing is that even if the person changed the way we want them to, it would not make us happy – oh it might for a short time, but then we would still be looking for more to make us happy. It would never be enough. Why? Because we are looking for love in all the wrong places.

Say we had a beautiful piece of clothing that we absolutely loved wearing. We look great in it, we feel great in it and we get lots of compliments when we wear it. We know it's in our closet somewhere because we've worn it before. But the closet is so full of stuff that we can't find it. Would we walk away and look for it somewhere else? Or would we start clearing all the junk out of the closet so we could find that one precious outfit?

When we look within and get rid of all the beliefs that are in the way of our connection to our own peace and love – the unlimited source within us, we no longer need another person to feel it.

This is when we can be in a healthy relationship, one that is deeper, more intimate and freer than any we've had before.

This week, take a look at your relationships and be aware of any experiences that cause you to feel not good or uncomfortable. How do you react? Do you blame the other person or look inside at the belief that is being tested? If you blame the other person, try to look within instead and follow the emotion back to the belief that has caused it and question whether this belief is true. Let go of mistaken beliefs so that you no longer have to blame others for your own unhappiness.

Have a wonderful week enjoying the gift of all your relationships.

If you are interested in our weekly Spiritual Group Meetings or private one-on-one sessions please visit our website at www.thesoulconnection.ca

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Judgment

Our lives are full of judgment. From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we lay our heads down to sleep at night.

We look in the mirror and think, "I'm having a bad hair day", or "Gee, I'm looking old today". And then throughout our day, we are filled with judgment after judgment. "I should have done this" or "He shouldn't have done that", "They were wrong", or "That was bad".

We judge other people all the time thinking that they should be different than they are, they should treat us differently or act this way or that. We get together with our friends and talk about other people - what they wear, how they behave, how they look, what they said. Some days it is one judgment after another, filling our minds, actions and hearts.

Judgments are really just assumptions that we make based on our own beliefs. A woman could feel absolutely secure in her relationship with her husband one minute, then the next minute open his briefcase and find two Valentine's cards and suddenly she is filled with doubt and hurt and anger. But what has changed in that moment? Nothing is any different than it was a few moments earlier. And yet she has made an assumption that has lead to a judgment of what the situation is. This judgment has caused her enormous suffering and yet nothing has really changed in her life.

In placing judgment on others we are really judging ourselves. When we judge someone else, it is because we have a belief that is being challenged by another person's actions or words and the ego tells us in the form of a thought that we must defend our belief. The defense comes in the form of judgment of another based on our own belief.

If we believe that we are not good enough, we will constantly be finding others who are worse than we are so that we can feel better about ourselves. But in judging the other person, we are in fact, judging ourselves.

The moment that we look at a situation or person and say, "It shouldn’t be that way," we are judging. And the moment we judge we are moving into suffering. Suffering takes us away from peace.

If we can be aware of the times when we judge people, situations or things or even ourselves, we can look inside and find what belief is feeding this judgment. What belief needs this judgment to stay alive? When we recognize this we can then let go of the belief and free ourselves from judgment.

The absence of judgment we find acceptance. Once we put judgment aside, let go of the belief that feeds it, we can relax into a state of acceptance of what is. And in this place of acceptance we let go of suffering and find peace.

This week try to be aware of any time you place a judgment on yourself, someone else or a situation. See how many times judgment comes up in your daily life. And when you have a few minutes, take a look at some of those judgments and see if you can relate them to your beliefs and your attachment to those beliefs. Feel the emotion that is caused by this belief and then let the belief go, knowing that it has served you well but is no longer needed.

Have a wonderful week of acceptance.

If you are interested in our weekly Spiritual Group Meetings or private one-on-one sessions please visit our website at www.thesoulconnection.ca

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Suffering

We have all suffered at one time or another. Usually we recognize the suffering when it is something unbearable that causes us great physical or emotional pain. But what we don't always realize is that we are experiencing suffering a lot more than we think.

So what exactly is suffering? It is the point at which you are no longer connected to all that you are and the peace and love within. The moment that we feel uncomfortable or unsafe and don't acknowledge the emotions and thoughts that are arising, we are putting ourselves in suffering. As soon as an emotion begins to well up in us and we push it down because we don't want to look at it, we are putting ourselves in suffering.

The ego mind plays tricks with us. It's an ongoing game. Its job is to keep us in suffering. Without that, the ego has no reason to even exist. It tells us that we will find happiness or the resolution to a problem by doing certain things. But each time we do those things, it finds another reason to show us unhappiness. The ego is afraid of losing its identity and so it will keep creating work for itself. If you knew that your job was in jeopardy, you would do whatever you could to keep it wouldn't you? That is what the ego is doing – trying to keep its job.

To bring ourselves out of our suffering, we need to be aware of what the ego is doing, allow ourselves to feel whatever comes up in an uncomfortable experience. We all recognize when we feel uncomfortable but we often brush it off as nothing or tell ourselves we shouldn't feel this way or that. But that is the exact thing that takes us into suffering.

When we feel uncomfortable, if we look closer at what is going on inside, the emotions and thoughts and follow them deeper to the belief system that they are signaling, we can let go of the emotions and the belief and with that be free of suffering. We have gone through our lives ignoring our emotions and beliefs and not even realizing they exist. Now it's time to look inside with honesty at what we are feeling and what we believe about ourselves and the world.

Most of us, if we had a choice, would choose peace over suffering. What we don't always recognize is that it is in our power to make that choice every day.

This week as you go through your daily experiences, take a look at any time when you don't feel comfortable. Stop and bring your awareness to the uncomfortable feeling and feel what is arising. Look at the belief you have that causes that emotion to arise. If you cannot feel the emotions right away, stay with it, be persistent. See what you have been ignoring in the past and let go of the belief that no longer works for you. You will be surprised at how many times this may occur in a seven day period.

Have a wonderful week of peace.

If you are interested in our weekly Spiritual Group Meetings or private one-on-one sessions please visit our website at www.thesoulconnection.ca

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Value

There are two aspects of value that affect us in our every day lives. One is the value we put on the outside world and the other is the value we see in ourselves. Both are connected to each other in a very important way.

When we are looking at the outside world to provide us with love, happiness and peace, we begin to put values on everything in the world. We see people, place or things as valuable to us because we believe they can provide something for us - love, happiness, security, etc.

What happens is we don't feel our own value unless we have confirmation from these people, places or things. So the value of these becomes great to us. But what happens if the person that you think is giving you love, leaves you? Or you lose the big house that gave you security and comfort? If we have attached our love, happiness, security, comfort to this person or place, we feel the loss when they are gone. In fact we no longer feel the emotions that we thought they brought to us in the first place.

If someone gave you four glasses of water to drink and you drank three of them, how valuable would that last glass be? In other words, if you felt full, would there be any value in that last glass of water? What if you were in the dessert with no water and someone handed you that same glass of water? Would there then be value to the glass? The same glass of water that first had no value, now has value. But the glass of water doesn't actually have value. We place the value on it because it fills a need.

This is what we do all the time in our daily lives. Instead of looking inside at our own void and knowing that it is always full, we feel the void as an emptiness and try to fill it with outside sources.

But the void is not an emptiness. It is our connection to the source, to the universe as a whole where there is no separation. It is so vast that it feels like a tremendous empty void. It is our fear that keeps us from feeling the fullness of it. Once we step past our fear, we can feel the limitlessness of our true self and know that our value is also limitless.

Once we recognize this, we have no need to put values on everything out in the world. There is no need for adjectives or judgments. All things merely are an extension of the source, life experiencing itself from different aspects. We are merely looking out of these eyes at another aspect of ourselves (another person).

Our value is found within, not in someone or something else. And when we recognize this, we no longer feel the need to put value on things in the world.

Have a look this week in your day to day life and see where you put values on people and things. Look at the emotions and thoughts that come up when those people or things do not meet our expectations. What if we were to lose those things? How would we feel? Look at the emotions and see what belief they are hitting against. Does this belief work for you anymore? If not, let it go and recognize the limitless value within.

Have a wonderful week of feeling your limitless value and love.

If you are interested in our weekly Spiritual Group Meetings or private one-on-one sessions please visit our website at www.thesoulconnection.ca

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beliefs

In his movie Ambition to Meaning, Wayne Dyer says that the first nine months of our lives while we are still being formed in the womb, we are in a perfect state of grace, allowing God and the Universe to do whatever is necessary to create our physical form. We let go and allow it all to happen without trying to control or change anything. We are in complete acceptance.

And then we are born into this world and our parents and eventually we, ourselves, say, "Thanks God, you did a great job. We'll take it from here." This is when our ego begins to take over and we start to learn all the beliefs of our parents, which they learned from their parents and so on and so on.

These beliefs are what we adopt as our own, and what we learn to react through as we go through our lives. We take on certain beliefs that we think will work for us. "I should behave this way." "I am a bad girl or boy if I don't behave this way." "I am not worthy of love or happiness." "My value comes from the work I do, the friends I have or the stuff I own."

All these beliefs are what drive us to do the things we do, to behave the way we do and to manifest the life we have. And for the most part, if we are not living consciously, we have no idea that this is happening.

How does this happen? Well, say we have the belief that we are not good enough. And we're at work, and our boss says to us, "You have handed in this report but it is not done correctly." We often will immediately get defensive, angry or hurt by this. Why? Because we already have this belief within that tells us we are not good enough. And this comment from our boss is confirming that belief. And from that belief come the thoughts and emotions that arise within us.

If we can become aware of the thoughts and emotions as they arise, we can then trace them back to the belief. Once we are aware of the emotions and thoughts, we can acknowledge them, allow them to come up in us and feel them fully. And in doing this we can see that the belief is no longer needed. At last we can let go of the belief.

Holding on to beliefs, suppressing emotions and dismissing thoughts can keep us in a state of suffering. It is much more painful to push the emotions back down than to allow them to come up and feel them. But we are so afraid that the opposite is true we keep them all inside, never acknowledging or questioning the belief.

There is great freedom in stepping into the pain and feeling it fully so we can release the belief that fires it. It's never fun to go through it, but knowing that there is this freedom on the other side can help us to trudge into the pain with total acceptance.

Take a look at any experience you have. If you feel totally comfortable in the experience, if it does not have any effect on you at all, then it is not touching on any beliefs. But if you feel even the tiniest bit of uncomfortableness then take a look at what you are feeling and thinking, allow yourself to feel or think whatever comes up and then look at the belief that fuels those thoughts and emotions and see if it is still working for you. If not, let it go. For some it may be easier to look at the thoughts and for others it will be easier to look at the emotions. Either way can lead you to your beliefs.

Have a wonderful week of conscious living.

If you are interested in our weekly Spiritual Group Meetings or private one-on-one sessions please visit our website at www.thesoulconnection.ca